What Happened to Lucia Villanueva? Did Emily Rios Leave Snowfall?

Image Credit: Ray Mickshaw/FX

While Franklin Saint emerges as the kingpin of the Los Angeles drug scene in FX’s crime drama seriesSnowfall,’ Lucia Villanueva joins hands with her cousin Pedro Nava to become a prominent player in the scene. They recruit Gustavo “El Oso” Zapata as their designated right-hand man. Lucia and Gustavo eventually end up becoming partners personally and professionally, infuriating Pedro. The Villanueva cousin then introduces his fiancée Soledad Caro to Lucia and Gustavo. Lucia and Soledad’s companionship turns her life around. Since she hasn’t been present in the drug scene for a while, the viewers must be wondering what exactly happened to her. Well, let us share what we know! SPOILERS AHEAD.

New Beginnings: Lucia’s Life in Miami

In the second season of the series, Lucia becomes the head of the Villanueva Cartel. She joins Gustavo to trade drugs in the absence of Pedro. Lucia’s cousin eventually shows up but with the surprise news that he got engaged to Soledad Caro, who accompanies him to Los Angeles. Lucia and Gustavo try to garner Franklin’s recipe to make crack cocaine but the young kingpin refrains from offering them the same. They make a deal with Franklin’s friend Kevin Hamilton to garner the recipe by offering information about Conejo, the killer of Kevin’s cousin, in return. Meanwhile, Soledad becomes a major presence in Lucia’s operations, only for the former to eventually reveal that she is a DEA agent named Lorena Cardenas.

Image Credit: Ray Mickshaw/FX

Lorena asks Lucia to reveal info about the drug operations that happen in the city, only for her to reveal about Conejo. While Kevin tries to kill Conejo, the DEA agents arrive at the place and a fleeing Conejo sees Lucia. He deduces that Lucia’s revelation paved the way for the hit on him, which leads him to her to exact his revenge on the latter. While Conejo tries to kill Lucia, Gustavo comes in between to protect his lover. Although he gets severely injured, Gustavo succeeds in saving his lover from her death. But by the time he regains consciousness, Lucia has vanished from his life and the City of Angels.

Lucia is in Miami. After escaping from Conejo with the help of Gustavo, she flees from Los Angeles to end up in Florida. Lucia must have decided to relocate to Miami to avoid being a puppet in the hands of the authorities. After escaping from Conejo, she must have realized that it is pointless to put her life on the line to work for the DEA or CIA, especially after making enough enemies who are potent enough to infiltrate the governmental agencies to kill her. Does that mean we will never get to see Emily Rios again in the gritty crime drama? Let’s find out.

Rios Likely Exited Snowfall

Emily Rios’ final appearance in the series is in the ninth episode of the second season. Since neither FX nor Rios has released an announcement regarding the actress’ return to the sixth season of ‘Snowfall,’ it is safe to say that the actress left the series for good. Narrative-wise, Lucia doesn’t have much scope in the sixth season. The show has progressed significantly since the third round, concluding the storyline associated with the Villanueva Cartel multiple seasons back.

Image Credit: Prashant Gupta/FX

Although Rios’ Lucia can return to the series as Gustavo’s lover, co-creator Dave Andron has made it clear that it will not be happening in the final season of the series. “Regarding Lucia, I think Oso’s story has moved on. What he always wanted was a family and he thought with Lucia he was going to get it but he realized she was not that person,” Andron told Deadline. “Oso has found the thing he wants that was really important to him. I know it’s frustrating to not have all the answers but Lucia just isn’t his person anymore,” the co-creator added. Since Lucia is not expected to be a part of Gustavo’s storyline in the rest of the final season, there may not be any point in expecting Rios’ return to the series.

Even though neither FX nor Rios has formally revealed the reason behind the actress’ departure from the series, the actress might have wanted the same. Rios had been vocal about how mentally challenging playing Lucia was in the past. “It’s so dark, and it’s so heavy to take that home every day, so it took a lot for me to take it out of me. It’s fun to play [Lucia], but I wish at that point I had known some kind of method of acting—because I never studied it—on how to let it go at the end of the day,” Rios told Vogue. Considering these factors, we believe we have most likely seen the last of Rios in ‘Snowfall.’

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